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Buffalo Trace Tasting Notes: Complete Guide (2024 Updated)

Buffalo Trace Tasting Notes

Last Updated on March 8, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Buffalo Trace is the flagship bourbon of the Buffalo Trace Distillery, and we know that many of you are curious about all the hype. 

Read on as we give you an overview of the Buffalo Trace tasting notes and discover why people on the internet are getting crazy about this expression. 

Overview Of Buffalo Trace Tasting Notes

Close Up Shot of Buffalo Trace Bottle Label

Buffalo Trace is a 90-proof whiskey that tends to be fruity, clean, and bold, which makes it a good entry-level bourbon. 

This beautiful amber whiskey boasts a complex aroma and rich tasting notes for being well-aged in newly charred oak barrels. 

Buffalo Trace has pleasant sweetness and spices with rich notes of oak, dark fruit, and anise. It has a smooth, long, and serious depth of flavor. 

It is a cheap bourbon and decent for its tasting notes.

Since it shares a similar distillery as the famous Pappy Van bourbons [1], it is not surprising that people get just as crazy with this spirit. 

A Closer Look

Buffalo Trace Whiskey Barrel


As we open a bottle of Buffalo Trace, we are welcomed by its impressive and complex aroma of molasses, mint, and vanilla. 

The aroma is pleasant and likable as it bursts with notes of honey, vanilla, caramel, and honey. It also provides an underlying layer of mint and oak. 

We also found some creamy toffee eclairs, rum spice, cereal sweetness, and cinnamon scent as we poured Buffalo Trace into our tasting glasses. 


woman smelling glass of whisky

Buffalo Trace has a mellow and sweet flavor profile with caramel, vanilla, and brown sugar notes.

The palate profile can be too sweet for some whiskey enthusiasts, but it is one of the bourbons with enjoyable tasting notes ideal for novices. 

It features a fair amount of rye spice and oak that round out the palate. It is smooth and approachable to a wide audience. 

“We deliver a variety of flavors to appeal to our customers’ range of tastes.”

– Harlen Wheatley, Buffalo Trace Master Distiller  

Buffalo Trace is a middle-of-the-road, solid, affordable whiskey that makes a decent Old Fashioned.

It is drinkable bourbon, balanced and approachable, given its price point. 


Buffalo Trace has a beautiful deep amber color, aged in newly charred oak barrels for around 7-9 years. 

As the whiskey matures in the barrel, it will pick up color from the oak and become a dark spirit [2].

The longer it stays in the barrel, the darker its appearance will be. 


Buffalo Trace Bottle and a glass

Buffalo Trace features a moderate-length finish with forefront notes of oak and vanilla. It will fill up your nostrils with a bit of peppery spice and oak. 

It has a soft mouthfeel and gentle notes of caramel and vanilla (which is common for bourbons), making it easy to enjoy neat, over ice or cocktails. 

Are Buffalo Trace Bourbon’s Tasting Notes Unique? 

Bottle of Buffalo Trace

No, Buffalo Trace bourbon’s tasting notes are not unique.

Yes, it has pleasant and approachable tasting notes, but it is not too different from a typical bourbon. It is a solid pour for its price point. 

If Buffalo Trace is unique, it will be because it does not taste “cheap” for its price.  

From the views of bourbonites, the hype is not about its tasting notes but about the following factors: 

  • Buffalo Trace is allocated in some places.  
  • Buffalo Trace has a solid price point that can be hard to pass up. 
  • Buffalo Trace shares a similar distillery as famous brands like Pappy Van Winkle, Eagle Rare, and George Stagg. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Buffalo Trace hard to find?

Buffalo Trace can be hard to find because it is allocated in some places. 

As the distillery tries its best to meet the demands, they still need to meet the minimum aging requirement and bottling standards of Buffalo Trace before it is released. 

What is so special about Buffalo Trace?

Buffalo Trace’s solid price point and beginner-friendly tasting notes make the bourbon special. 

Buffalo trace does not taste cheap even if it is sold at a cheap price plus, it is surprisingly smooth and mellow. 

Is Buffalo Trace a smooth whiskey?

Yes, Buffalo Trace is a smooth whiskey. Its tasting profile is extremely drinkable, and while it is not the smoothest, its flavor profile is approachable, especially for novices. 

Based on tasting notes, is Buffalo Trace the same as Pappy?

No, Buffalo Trace does not share similar tasting notes as Pappy. 

While they share a similar distillery and parent company, they do not share similar mash bill. 

What does Buffalo Trace taste like?

Buffalo Trace bourbon is renowned for its well-balanced and complex flavor profile; with prominent notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee, complemented by subtle hints of spice and a touch of fruit, it delivers a smooth and satisfying taste that appeals to a broad range of whiskey enthusiasts.

What is so special about Buffalo Trace?

Several factors contribute to the uniqueness of Buffalo Trace bourbon, including its rich history dating back to the 18th century, its status as one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in the United States, and its commitment to traditional craftsmanship.
The bourbon’s mash bill, aging process, and the expertise of the master distillers at Buffalo Trace Distillery play pivotal roles in creating a distinct and highly-regarded whiskey.

What do you taste on a Buffalo Trace Tour?

A visit to the Buffalo Trace Distillery offers an immersive experience into the world of bourbon production; during the tour, participants often have the opportunity to explore the historic distillery, witness the various stages of bourbon making, and, in some cases, partake in tastings.
Tasting notes during a Buffalo Trace tour may include the signature flavors of caramel, vanilla, and toffee, providing an in-depth understanding of the bourbon’s complexity and craftsmanship.

What is the composition of Buffalo Trace whiskey?

Buffalo Trace bourbon follows a mash bill that includes a combination of corn, rye, and barley; while the exact proportions are proprietary, this blend contributes to the bourbon’s unique flavor profile.
The whiskey is then aged in new charred oak barrels, with the aging process playing a crucial role in developing its depth and complexity.
The skillful combination of ingredients, time-tested methods, and the dedication to preserving the heritage of American whiskey all contribute to the composition of Buffalo Trace whiskey, making it a celebrated and distinctive expression in the world of bourbon.

Does Buffalo Trace taste good?

Buffalo Trace is widely praised for its exceptional taste, offering a well-balanced and complex flavor profile that includes notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee, with subtle hints of spice and fruit; its smooth and satisfying taste makes it highly regarded among whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Buffalo Trace a sipping whiskey?

Buffalo Trace is indeed a fantastic sipping whiskey, known for its rich and nuanced flavor profile that lends itself well to savoring slowly; enjoyed neat or on the rocks, its complexity and smoothness make it an ideal choice for those who appreciate the finer aspects of a high-quality bourbon.

Why is Buffalo Trace expensive?

The relatively higher cost of Buffalo Trace can be attributed to various factors, including the craftsmanship involved in its production, the use of high-quality ingredients, and the aging process.
Buffalo Trace Distillery, with its rich history dating back to the 18th century, employs traditional methods and expertise in crafting this bourbon.
The careful selection of grains, the proprietary mash bill, and aging in new charred oak barrels contribute to the unique flavor and complexity of Buffalo Trace, making it a premium bourbon and justifying its elevated price point.

How should I drink Buffalo Trace?

Buffalo Trace is best enjoyed according to personal preference; it can be savored neat or on the rocks to fully appreciate its intricate taste, where the notes of caramel, vanilla, and toffee can shine.
Some enthusiasts also find it to be an excellent base for classic cocktails like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, where its robust flavor profile can enhance the overall drinking experience.
Ultimately, how you choose to drink Buffalo Trace depends on your individual taste preferences, and the versatility of this bourbon allows for a variety of enjoyable serving options.

What Are Tasting Notes and Why Are They Important for Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

Tasting notes refer to the specific flavors, aromas, and characteristics detected when sampling Buffalo Trace Bourbon. They are essential for understanding and appreciating the complexity and quality of the bourbon.

What Are Some Common Tasting Notes Found in Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

Common tasting notes in Buffalo Trace Bourbon include hints of caramel, vanilla, oak, honey, and baking spices. These flavors contribute to the bourbon’s smoothness and richness.

How Do Tasting Notes Vary Between Different Expressions of Buffalo Trace Bourbon?

Tasting notes can vary between different expressions of Buffalo Trace Bourbon due to factors such as aging, mash bill, and barrel selection. Each expression may offer unique flavor profiles while maintaining the signature characteristics of Buffalo Trace.

How Can I Identify Tasting Notes in Buffalo Trace Bourbon When Tasting It?

When tasting Buffalo Trace Bourbon, pay attention to the aromas and flavors that you detect. Take small sips, allowing the bourbon to coat your palate, and notice any sweetness, spice, or complexity present in the bourbon’s profile.

Final Verdict 

Buffalo Trace features fruity, sweet, and clean tasting notes that bourbon beginners will appreciate.

It may not be the smoothest, but for its price, it is decent and does not taste cheap. 

Buffalo Trace is a good bourbon, especially for its price. Due to its solid price point and beginner’s friendly tasting notes, folks on the internet adore the bourbon whiskey. 


  1. The Complete Guide to Every Buffalo Trace Whiskey
  2. The Effects of Aging on Liquor
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